Getting Started

To get ready for the coming campaign, there are a few steps you’ll need to take.

1) Get the Books

It’s very important that you get your hands on a collection of 4th Edition DnD books. Whether that means you go out and buy them, or borrow a friend’s copies, or download pdf versions is up to you. I like options, so we’ll be using every 4E DnD publication to date.

These include:

  • Players Handbook (1, 2, and 3)
  • Martial Power (1 and 2)
  • Divine Power
  • Arcane Power
  • Primal Power

I’ll also consider races, classes, feats, and abilities on a case-by-case basis from the following:

  • Any issue of Dragon Magazine
  • Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide
  • Eberron Player’s Guide

If you need help getting the necessary books, you can email me, drop me a message on facebook, or send me a message here on Obsidian Portal.

2) Get the Character Sheet

For the sake of streamlining things a bit, I want everyone using the same character sheet, so that I can get copies every time you level. It’s easiest to use an Excel version I found, so that I can set up each of your characters as its own sheet within Excel. This character sheet is just like the PDF versions in appearance, but is fully editable and calculates a lot of things for you. I’ll email each of you a copy of this character sheet.

3) Build Your Character

Go ahead and build your character. Come up with a concept using a race and class found in the books or magazines, and start making your character. We’ll be using the 22-point-buy system for ability scores (from the bottom of page 17 from the Player’s Handbook). The Excel character sheet supports this system, so you shouldn’t have any trouble. Note, however, that the Excel sheet technically uses a 32-point-buy, but starts with all abilities at 0. Once you raise five abilities to 10 and one to 8, there will be 22 points remaining.

Your character for the start of this campaign should be at 1st Level, and will have an equipment allowance of 100 gold pieces. Any gold not spent on equipment can, of course, be kept as pocket change.

For the sake of making a few things in the world unique and special, there will be a couple restrictions on character building:

  • Some races won’t be allowed… Check out the page on Playable Races to see a list of what you can play right from the start, as well as a list of what’s restricted. If something’s restricted, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to play it… I just want to limit how many of them there are. For example, I don’t want a party full of Devas. One Deva, on the other hand, could be rather interesting.
  • I’ll allow all classes except the classes that use the Psionic power source. Psionics just don’t quite jive with the world I’m crafting, at least not at low levels… It may be possible to gain Psionic abilities during the course of the campaign, however.

4) Develop Your Character

This step will hopefully happen mostly in a Skype session. I want to set up a 1-2 hour meeting to discuss the setting, make sure everyone can connect to a server using MapTool, and let you guys discuss character details and how your party got together. Since this is my first time GMing something of this scope, I’ll probably use this meeting to get a feel for what everyone wants from this game.

That pretty much covers what you’ll need for the first session. MapTool, the program I’m hoping to use to give us a virtual tabletop and dice, is pretty easy to use… My only worry is that we may have trouble connecting while everyone’s at school. I think that by hosting the server from home, however, I might be able to get it to work. If all goes as planned, I want to get this group together online once every week or two, as schedules permit, for a long campaign arc. Sessions will likely be 4-6 hours in length.

In the time between now and the first session, keep an eye on this wiki… I’ll be adding background information and setting details as my free time permits.

Getting Started

In the Pursuit of Greatness bcnorby